Christmas gifting has come a long way since the Three Wise Men, and it’s easy to feel the pressure of buying (and affording) the perfect gifts for our loved ones.

So, in this week’s blog we’re thinking about how we can give without taking too much from the planet, with our top tips on lowering carbon footprints, saving money and preventing those overflowing bins on Boxing Day!

Give less ‘stuff’

There are plenty of alternatives to giving physical gifts. Consider gifting your time to make or do something – it could be as simple as preparing a meal or cleaning their car, or something more complex depending on the specialist skills you have to offer. Vouchers or a promise of a day trip, a meal out or tickets to an event will reduce the ‘stuff’ exchanging hands, which means less manufacturing emissions linked to our gift and less packaging waste. You may also be giving your recipient something to look forward to once the festive period is over – even better if it’s something you can do and enjoy together.

Be a Secret Santa

Suggesting a Secret Santa between your friends or family group is a great way to reduce the amount we buy, manage our Christmas budgets and ensure people receive something they really want. Agree a budget then ask everybody to throw their name into a hat with a few suggestions jotted down of things they’d like to receive. Everyone draws a name and buys for that person only, meaning less ‘stuff’ is bought amongst the group (better for the planet) and less money is spent (better for your pocket!). For those that know your way around a mobile phone, there are apps available that can draw names and message them directly to group members along with the recipient’s wish list.

Buy pre-loved

As well as the environmental benefits, buying pre-loved from apps, social media groups or good old fashioned charity shops supports your neighbours and local charities. What’s more, gifts like toys and electricals are ready to go as soon as they’re unwrapped – setting up in advance and no awkward packaging to remove is a huge bonus in my house when the kids want to play with everything immediately on sight! Online selling pages and apps allow you to set alerts to notify you as soon as somebody lists the things you’re looking for so you have the perfect present waiting under the tree on the big day. Often items can be picked up at more than 50% less than what they cost new from a shop, and without the display packaging to dispose of your bins (and Rother’s waste services) will love you for it.

Shop local

Save on delivery costs and transport emissions by visiting your local high street. Rother District Council are offering Christmas Parking Concessions at selected car parks throughout December to encourage us to ‘Love Local’ and there are plenty of events to get us in the Christmas spirit. More details can be found here: Love Local this Christmas – Rother District Council and if you’re interested in seeking out some of the most sustainable places to shop in Bexhill, check out My Town Unwrapped/Bexhill-on-sea.

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